PEKAN, July 1 — Chini by-election candidate Mohd Sharim Md Zain is confident of looking after the welfare of the older generation while helping youths who want to remain in Chini in their livelihood.
The 41-year Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate said the younger generation sees him as someone who would strive for their interests.
He said his involvement in youth associations before this may have been perceived by the group as a factor to hope for change, but at the same time the interest of the older generation should be taken care of.
“I am determined (if elected as Chini assemblyman) to do my best to serve the constituency and to win the hearts of all groups.
“Compared to the older generation, the younger group is more interested in the economic aspect. It is a challenge for me (to balance the interests of both groups),” he told Bernama.
Although the Election Commission (EC) is encouraging online campaign due to strict standard operating procedure (SOP) to curb Covid-19, Mohd Sharim insisted on meeting the older voters face to face.
His earnest efforts were evident during campaign, when he visited many senior citizens who are mostly strong BN supporters.
Besides Felda settlers who comprise 82 per cent of the residents here, Mohd Sharim is also attending to traditional villagers and the Orang Asli community.
“Three locations with three different grievances from the locals. In Felda area, abandoned (second generation) housing project is the biggest issue there. Others include the issue of public clinics that needed upgrading.
“In traditional villages, the folks there complained about housing and the cost of living as well as the need to boost their economy, while in Orang Asli villages they want land and PPRT (people’s housing project for the hardcore poor),” he said.
Although some quarters played the issue of him not being a Pahang-born due to his birthplace in Alor Setar, Kedah, Mohd Sharim, boldly ignored the matter as he believed he is well-versed on issues pertaining to Chini, as he has been living in the constituency since the age of two.
According to him, it is also not unusual for Felda settlers to come from other states.
He added he has always been acquainted with people’s problems in Chini, furthermore he was very close to the former assemblyman Datuk Seri Abu Bakar Harun who served the constituency since 2004.
The Chini state by-election this Saturday is a three-cornered fight between Mohd Sharim and two independent candidates Tengku Datuk Zainul Hisham Tengku Hussin, 64, and Mohd Shukri Mohd Ramli, 49, following the death of Abu Bakar on May 7.
In the 14th general election, Abu Bakar retained the seat with a 4,622-vote majority when he garnered 10,027 votes to beat Mohd Fadhil of PAS, who obtained 5,405 votes, and Mohamad Razali Ithnain from PKR who received only 1,065 votes.
The Chini state seat, which is one of four constituencies under the Pekan parliament, has 20,990 registered voters comprising of 20,972 ordinary voters and 18 early voters, with majority of the voters (56 per cent) aged below 40 years old. — Bernama